Sherri's Blog

Crate TRaining

The Essential Guide to Crate Training Your Doodle at Smeraglia’s Doodle Prep School

Crate training is a cornerstone of our approach at Smeraglia’s Doodle Prep School, providing a safe and effective way to teach your Doodle important skills and behaviors. Here’s why we believe in crate training and how you can use it to ensure your pup becomes a well-behaved and happy member of your family.


teddybear golden doodles crate training

Why Use a Crate?

1. Housetraining Aid:
A crate is invaluable for teaching your Doodle to eliminate outside. By restricting their space, you encourage them to hold their bladder until they are taken outside, significantly speeding up the housetraining process.

2. Safe Haven:
Crates provide a secure space for your dog when you are away or too busy to supervise. It mimics the den-like environment dogs instinctively seek, giving them a place to relax and feel safe.

When Not to Use a Crate

1. Never for Punishment:
Using a crate as punishment will create negative associations, making your dog avoid it or become anxious when confined.

2. Not for Long-Term Confinement:
Crates are not meant for long-term “storage.” Adult dogs shouldn’t be crated for more than four to five hours at a time, and puppies need even more frequent breaks due to their smaller bladder capacity.

Effective Crate Training Steps

1. Consistency is Key:
Keep your Doodle in the crate whenever you cannot supervise them 100%. This ensures they learn to hold their bladder and only eliminate outside.

2. Positive Reinforcement:
When your puppy eliminates outside, reward them immediately with treats and praise. This reinforces the desired behavior quickly.

3. The “Umbilical Cord” Method:
When you’re busy but still need to supervise, tie your dog’s leash to you. This way, they’re always close by and can’t sneak away to eliminate indoors.

4. Gradual Crate Acclimation:
If your dog shows anxiety, start with very short increments. Gradually increase the time they spend in the crate as they become more comfortable.

5. Enrichment Inside the Crate:
Make the crate a pleasant place by adding soft bedding (if your dog isn’t a chewer) and sturdy toys. Feeding your dog in the crate can also create positive associations.

6. Proper Crate Sizing:
Ensure the crate is large enough for your dog to stretch out and turn around comfortably. For puppies, consider a crate with dividers to adjust the space as they grow.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

•    Don’t leave the collar on: It can get caught in the crate, causing injury.
•    Avoid high-traffic areas: Place the crate in a quiet, peaceful spot to avoid overstimulation.
•    Prevent teasing: Ensure children or other pets don’t disturb your dog when crated.

Crate Training Benefits

Crate training not only aids in housetraining but also helps reduce destructive behaviors when your Doodle is unsupervised. Dogs who view their crate as a safe space tend to be less anxious and more relaxed overall.

At Smeraglia’s Doodle Prep School, we emphasize the importance of making the crate a positive experience for your dog. By following these tips and being consistent, you’ll find that your Doodle will quickly learn to love their crate, providing peace of mind for you and comfort for them.

For more information and personalized training tips, visit our website or contact our professional trainers.

If you need help with crate training or have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our office. We will connect you with one of our trainers. Remember, we also offer virtual training sessions to support you and your Doodle from the comfort of your home.

Happy Training,
Sherri Smeraglia

A Note from sherri

It's a Labor of Love for me

Thank you so much for taking the time to read through my blog. Every word penned here comes straight from my heart, as I aim to share with you the knowledge and insights I’ve gathered over the years. My deepest hope is that you find joy, inspiration, and perhaps a little bit of wisdom in these pages. Remember, this journey we’re on together is all about the love and connection we share with our furry friends. So, sit back, enjoy the read, and let’s continue to grow and learn in this beautiful adventure of companionship.

Warmest wishes,

Sherri Smeraglia